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Info/Background:

I am writing a novel, the world I am creating has ~3 (spoiler) sapient species derivated from modified humans. They are:

  • Warriors, I don't have a name yet

Have a unique metabolism and regenerative capabilities providing then a "Hercules" body, their strength and endurance are top of the top relative to their size of course. Their diet was unique in a way, giving their bones and muscles substances that in larges quantities were capable of killing humans.

Popular examples:

Berserker or Hybrid of the Tank/Damage classes in RPGs.

  • Hunters, same with the name

Have a unique nervous system and muscles providing then with faster reflexes, respectively an agile body. Their brain was also capable of changing the intensity of their senses, giving them another way to experience the world.

Popular examples:

Chinese martial arts or Hybrid of the Ranger/Agile type fighter classes in RPGs.

  • Assassins, same with the name

Their entire body is unique because they are capable of harvest and storage the chemical compounds of a percentage of their food, utilizing them to create a variety of drugs/chemical substances, giving them a versatility that the others don't have.

Popular examples:

My most favorite is the witchers of the books or game franchise, but with small differences.

If you think my question may be too broad think that all the sapients are of the same height, we will reduce their capabilities to the bare minimum so think that their specialties are only slightly stronger than what humans can do. No firearms.

My Question:

My problem is about the fights between them, in the real world we are not the strongest or the fastest animal but if there was another sapient that was faster but weaker or stronger but slower, could their weakness maintain the status quo between us?

I don't know if I am making myself clear, what I am talking about is we have 3 "parties" each with their strong and weak side, how could one strong side of one of them not destroy the others or if the weakness of one of them is worse than of the others?

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  • $\begingroup$ What motivation do they have to fight? Can they talk to each other? $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Jan 4 '18 at 3:54
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    $\begingroup$ If you think your question may be broad you should ask it in the sandbox and get feedback on how to improve it instead of asking it on the main site. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Jan 4 '18 at 3:56
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    $\begingroup$ The simple answer is "yes." Just with our one species, some are intelligent but weak, some are fast but not cunning, some are strong but not eloquent. So long as each species has a strength and a weakness you have the potential for the status quo. Frankly, the real problem is charisma (aka, Hitler). Charisma tends to turn random groups into devoted lemmings. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jan 4 '18 at 5:14
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I think the status quo would be maintained due to the utility and ability of each of the factions. Here are the basic assumptions I would make for each group.

The warriors are basically the best fighters and frontal attackers. I don't think there would be much point not having them like that. No other group would attack them, because retaliation would be extremely sever. You could assassinate their leader and the sub leader and so on, but as long as they are hell bend on attacking you, there would be little you could do to stop them. The warriors would probably build their cities in open areas with not much shelter. This would prevent hunters from picking them off in small numbers and remove much of the cover an assassin needs to function properly.

Next are you Hunters. If they were to be attacked, they would try and reduce it into guerrilla warfare. They are agile, hit the enemy in small groups and disappear. They would drain the enemy, and assuming they aren't idiots, they would also set up their villages in forests or hard to reach areas to dissuade the warriors from steam rolling over their villages. While the assassins could reach their villages, they ability to detect, track and setup traps would make it very dangerous for any assassin to approach them.

Finally the assassins. I would assume like most assassin stereotypes they would be mostly nomadic and travel alone or in small groups. They might have a remote base and a way to gather/meetup with other assassins, but these would be temporary events. If attacked, the assassin simply disappears, escaping and later re-gathering.

So in the end it becomes. Warriors can attack the hunters, but would also suffer a lot of losses in the process. Warriors aren't able to effectively attack assassins as they are hard to catch and only travel in small packs, making it a very resource intensive to straight up find them.

Hunters are protected from Assassins due to their natural ability to detect and track, as well as their environment. They could go out of their way to find and kill assassins, but they wouldn't be at home, and an assassin has a similar skill set, but more specialized in killing making it a dangerous task to hunt them in small groups. The Warriors would be in open areas, making it straight up risky to attack, as they would all be wiped out if the warriors were to catch them unaware. The hunters basically have full control of their forest environment.

Assassins are nomadic. A small group might attack the warriors or hunters, but they risk dying or being captured since they will be close to the enemy who would be able to use a larger amount of manpower to capture them, especially in their own territories. As they are nomadic, they aren't destroyed simply because of how resource intensive it would be.

This way you will have small skirmishes. Warriors/Hunters vs assassins when some one mysteriously dies or their goods disappear. Hunters vs Warriors in terms of the territory surrounding a forest, and maybe sometimes the warriors will also hunt animals in the hunters territories.

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    $\begingroup$ Man, you have no idea how excited I am reading your comment. I thinking of a similar concept to yours but you have fleshed the idea out so much better if you ever write something let me read it. $\endgroup$ – user43339 Jan 4 '18 at 6:02
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The victor in a battle between a Bear and an Alligator is determined entirely by the terrain on which they fight. Sun Tzu

The quote above demonstrates some of the difficulty with this question; not so much that the question is too broad, but that it doesn't actually tell you what you need to know to understand how each side fights.

Ultimately, the winner in any 3 way fight between these species will be determined by the intelligence and strategic capability of their commanders. Wars are won with superior strategy and good supply lines, in that order.

That said, you're effectively asking whether strength, dexterity, or versatility would win the day. Normally, I'd go with versatility, but in the description you provide, that versatility doesn't come with endurance. Using chemical compounds (read as drugs) is NEVER without some form of side effect which usually limits your longevity or curtails another skill in some regard. In that sense, strength and dexterity would win out in any war of attrition, which is what their generals would be going for.

Ultimately, the groups are so different that they will each respond better to a unique strategy which the other groups will be working to curtail so as to promote their own. One commander is likely to be better at that art than the others, and that is the side that would ultimately win. This though, does not answer the question I think you're asking.

Strength is only useful if it hits something. Dexterity is only useful if it can avoid being hit, and versatility is only useful if it gives you an advantage in the area of your enemies' weaknesses. In that sense, a good commander of the assassins who knows the strengths and weaknesses of both the hunters and the warriors is going to have an easier time of it trying to be the superior tactician.

While the second answer is more specific to the question, I believe the first answer to be more relevant.

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  • $\begingroup$ In a three way fight the winner will be the one who isn't attacking or defending. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Jan 4 '18 at 4:22
  • $\begingroup$ True; but that's a strategy in and of itself. :) $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Jan 4 '18 at 4:43
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer, the idea of the assassins utilizing drugs is in the same way we use medicine to improve our lives but in a more broad sense, true if you use too much you will have side effects but very little each time in long term will improve their capacities, they will not be equal or better than the others in strength or dexterity but in general they will be much more dangerous, including venoms or neurotoxins, of course. $\endgroup$ – user43339 Jan 4 '18 at 5:57
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with your thinking on the assassins, and I see them as specialising in niche combat situations where they can catch the others off guard. Very much guerrilla tactics specialists $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Jan 4 '18 at 7:53

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